Alvin Roth is a world-renowned expert on market design and game theory. He is a rarity among economists — his mission throughout his career has been to apply economic theory to real-world, real-life problems. He has been wildly successful, pioneering new ways to use game theory to redesign previously ineffective, complex markets.
Dr. Roth was honored by the Nobel Committee for his work in stable allocations and the practice of market design. His breakthrough work involves creating better “matching” markets — where people or organizations come together in a marketplace to select one or another. Common examples are the college admissions process, job searches, or dating websites.
Matching markets where participants must rank their preferences often end in disappointment or mismatches. But Dr. Roth has succeeded in designing fair and equitable systems where preferences are honored more frequently and participants are placed in one of the programs of their choice — with outcomes that result in stable match ups.
Some of his notable achievements include:
Reworking the National Resident Matching Program through which 25,000 medical school graduates apply to the hospital residency programs of their choice throughout the country.
Designing the high school preference program in New York that matches as many as 90,000 students to hundreds of high schools each year.
Designing matching programs for Boston’s primary school choice system, as well as for other large cities with significant student populations.
Founder and designer of the New England Program for Kidney Exchange, which allows incompatible patient-donor pairs to swap for compatible kidneys. The program has resulted in 2,000 patients receiving kidneys who might otherwise never have located a compatible donor.
Dr. Roth is a compelling speaker for any industry providing audiences with new and compelling insights into the hidden behaviors of their own marketplaces.
Who Gets What – and Why: The New Economics of Matchmaking and Market Design, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2015
“In this fascinating, often surprising book, Alvin Roth guides us through the jungle of modern life, pointing to the many markets that are hidden in plain view all around us. He teaches us how markets work — and fail — and how we can build better ones.”
— Dan Ariely, author of Predictably Irrational and The Honest Truth about Dishonesty
The Handbook of Market Design, Oxford University Press, 2013. Editor with Nir Vulkan and Zvika Neeman.
Handbook of Experimental Economics, Princeton University Press, 1995. Editor with J.H. Kagel
Handbook of Experimental Economics, Vol. 2, Princeton University Press, forthcoming. Editor with J.H. Kagel
- Craig and Susan McCaw Professor of Economics, Stanford University
- George Gund Professor of Economics, Emeritus, Harvard University
- Senior Fellow, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research
- Research Associate, National Bureau of Economic research
- MS, Ph.D, Operations Research, Stanford University
- BS, Columbia University
- Fellow, American Academy of Arts and Sciences
- Member, National Academy of Sciences
- Fellow American Association of the Advancement of Science
- Fellow, Econometric Society